Mork (file format)
||This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (December 2011)|
|Developed by||Netscape, later Mozilla Foundation|
|Type of format||Database|
|Standard||None (reference implementation)|
|Website||Mozilla Developer Center|
Mork is a computer file format used by several email clients and web browsers produced by Netscape, and later, Mozilla Foundation. It was developed by David McCusker with the aim of creating a minimal database replacement that would be reliable, flexible, and efficient, and use a file format close to plain text.
The Mork format was used in most Mozilla-based projects, including the Mozilla browser suite, SeaMonkey, Firefox, and Thunderbird. In Firefox, it was used for browsing history data and form history data. In Thunderbird, it is still used for many things, such as address book data (.mab files) and the mail folder summaries (.msf files).
The file format has been severely criticized by Jamie Zawinski, a former Netscape engineer. He has lambasted the ostensibly "textual" format on the grounds that it is "not human-readable", bemoaned the impossibility of writing a correct parser for the format, and referred to it as "...the single most braindamaged file format that I have ever seen in my nineteen year career".
In response, McCusker stated that the problems with Mork resulted from "conflicting requirements" and that he merely fixed scalability issues in bad code he "inherited".
The replacement system, used for storing all user configuration data, is called MozStorage. MozStorage is based on the SQLite database. Beginning with Firefox 3.0, Firefox uses it for its history, form history and bookmark data. The storage engine was also included in Firefox 2.0, but only for use with extensions.
Plans existed for Mork to be replaced with MozStorage in Thunderbird 3.0., but the 8.0 release still uses the Mork file format. The current version of SeaMonkey, version 2.14.1, also still uses Mork for its indexes for both POP and IMAP mail folders (at least).
Software that handles Mork files
- "Mork What Is It — MDC". Developer.mozilla.org. 2007-09-16. Retrieved 2009-08-19.
- "Mork Why — MDC". Developer.mozilla.org. 2007-09-16. Retrieved 2009-08-19.
- Zawinski, Jamie. "mork.pl: Perl program to extract metadata from a Mork database". jwz.org. Retrieved 2009-08-19.
- "Bug 241438 – please make history.dat easier to parse (i.e., not Mork)". Bugzilla.mozilla.org. Retrieved 2009-08-19.
- "erys: resume: netscape: mork: jwz". Internet Archive. 2005-05-25. Archived from the original on 2005-05-25. Retrieved 2009-08-19.
- "Why has Thunderbird turned into a turkey?". www.theregister.co.uk.
- Paul, Ryan (2006-04-30). "Features cut from Firefox 2". Arstechnica.com. Retrieved 2009-08-19.
- "Remove Mork from Mozilla-Central".
- "Mork to be removed from Firefox 7".
- "Thunderbird 3 Planning". Wiki.mozilla.org. 2009-08-10. Retrieved 2009-08-19.
- McCusker's description of the syntax
- Grammar as mentioned in the above syntax description
- Mork structure
- Mozilla Wiki Mork page (including links to tools for reading Mork documents)